Tuesday, December 1, 2015

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: JOAN JETT V. PATTI SMITH

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's time for the December 1, 2015, Battle of the Bands.

Mr. Stephen T. McCarthy provides us with this information about the bloghop:

The whole thing is really quite simple: You select two different versions of the same song (versions  you feel might give each other some competition in the voting) and you post them on the 1st and the 15th of each month. On the 7th and 21st of each month, you add your own personal vote to the mix, total up all the votes and announce the winner on your blog.

Beyond that, just try to have fun with it and let your readers/voters have fun with it.


All righty, then. Let's have fun! Our song is Smells Like Teen Spirit.




You're probably accustomed to hearing Smells Like Teen Spirit, sung almost unintelligibly, by the three men who wrote it: the members of Nirvana--the late Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic, and Dave Grohl. The revolutionary teen anthem was the band's biggest hit and was the lead track on their second album, Nevermind, released in 1991.

For our battle, I present two hard rockin' ladies. The first is Joan Jett, who joins the surviving members of Nirvana for their induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:




And now, Ladies and Gents, I present the High Priestess of Punk, Patti Smith:




Man, I'd like to be the High Priestess of something, but I guess I have to be satisfied to be The Queen of Grammar.

Now it's your turn. Do you prefer Joan Jett's or Patti Smith's rendition of this Nirvana classic? Please vote in your comment, and if you can, tell us what swayed you. Please visit other participants in the Battle of the Bands, whose blogs are listed at the bottom of my post.

I'll announce the winner on December 7 (Pearl Harbor Day).


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

JANIE JUNEBUG RIGHTING & EDITING

69 comments:

  1. I can't believe I'm saying this, because Smells Like Teen Spirit will forever and always be Dave Grohl and Kurt Cobain, but my vote is Patti Smith. I love the music of the first one (because it is Nirvana) but the sound of Joan Jett singing it just bugs me. It's wrong. There is no replacing Kurt Cobain on that soundtrack. Patti sings the song her own way rather than trying to imitate Nirvana.
    Oh Janie, I'm getting too worked up over this months Battle Of The Bands! I feel like you are personally disparaging Kurt Cobains memory. Must.. get.. a.. grip.

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    1. My intention is to honor Kurt Cobain's memory. I promise! But do with me what you will.

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  2. My favorite version of all time is the Crazy Al Yankovich version--one of the great parodies of rock history.

    Settling for one of these two versions I'm going with Joan Jett. She nailed the spirit of the song even though her teen years are far behind her.

    Patti's version was a daring experiment and certainly interesting, but it just didn't do it for me.

    Oh, for Weird Al--I can't listen to this song anymore without seeing his hilarious video playing in my mind.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only person who loves Weird Al.

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  3. Patti Smith--hands down for me. I could understand the words and I liked the odd assortment of stringed instruments and she apparently likes cats, too. ;)

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    1. I enjoy Patti's different presentation, and I like understanding the words.

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  4. Interesting battle, Janie! ☺ I'm a fan of both singers but didn't like Patti's rendition all that much. Joan Jett nailed it! Love the gritty vocals.

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  5. I'm with Arlee, I immediately thought of Weird Al gargling as part of his lyrics.
    This is a good BotB. I mean, do you choose Joan Jett who has the stamp of approval of the original band or Patti Smith who is, well, Patty freaking Smith? I have to go with Patti because she put her own stank on it and made it her own. Also, I could understand the lyrics more in her version and boy o' boy are those dumb lyrics. Not to speak ill of the dead, but whowee that's barely Bukowskian level poetry.

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  6. I tried to post with my Wordpress name but I think my comment got eaten by the High Priestess of Interneting, Lord Google. Let's try again.
    I'm with Arlee, I immediately thought of Weird Al gargling as part of his lyrics.
    This is a good BotB. I mean, do you choose Joan Jett who has the stamp of approval of the original band or Patti Smith who is, well, Patty freaking Smith? I have to go with Patti because she put her own stank on it and made it her own. Also, I could understand the lyrics more in her version and boy o' boy are those dumb lyrics. Not to speak ill of the dead, but whowee that's barely Bukowskian level poetry.

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  7. Hi Janie - I preferred Joan Jett's version ... the Patti Smith one was too depressing ... cheers Hilary

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  8. Joan Jett, hands down IMO.
    I have never been a big fan of "redoing" old classics (like what Patti Smith did). Plus, the head of that dude just creeped me out.

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  9. I'm going with Joan Jett just because.

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  10. Oh, man... This one's tough—but awesome! After Stephen's I was so depressed, and seeing/listening to Dave Grohl going apeshit over that drum kit got me all high again, so thank you for that :)

    Based on the music, I'd go with Nirvana (even sans Cobain)... Joan did a good job on the grittiness, but there was something about her overall performance that didn't feel right. Like she wasn't enjoying it, somehow. And, since the battle is Joan vs Patti, and Patti did such an amazing job of turning this on its head and giving it a completely new life (while still sticking to the "borderline-madness" feel), I'm giving my vote to Patti. Excellent, excellent battle!
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

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  11. I vote for Patti Smith's version because I like the way the music is played with a guitar and a banjo, nice and mellow. But I would also have to agree with Arlee that Weird Al's version is the best!

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    1. Weird Al is a funny guy. I'm impressed every time I see an interview with him. He's always pleasant and intelligent.

      Delete
  12. I like both of these rockin' ladies but I definitely like Patti Smith's version better. Have you ever heard her album Horses? Wow, is that ever a fantastic album! So please give my vote to Patti. Joan Jett's was just too hard for me.

    And hey, to go along with your Queen of Grammar title, you can be the High Priestess of Punctuation. How about that?? :)

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. I've heard Horses, but not the entire album. I like High Priestess of Punctuation. I'm happy to add it to my titles.

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  13. Janie, this song and both artists really don't appeal to me, so I'm going to vote on the artist that's less offensive. That being said, I'm going with Patti Smith. You edit other peoples' work so in my book you've earned the Queen of Grammar status. Thanks for stopping by and voting, my friend!

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    1. Thank you for your recognition of my Queendom.

      Delete
  14. Oopsy, I forgot to click the Notify me button.

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  15. I think Joan did a nice tribute type sound, but Patti gets my vote. I'd liked the slower version, and I understood the lyrics more. 'Hello'....

    Either way, still a tough choice because they are so different.

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  16. Hey human, Janie!

    I vote for the Joan Jett version. The Patti Smith version sounds like she's ready to run in front of an oncoming bus!

    Pawsitive wishes and doggy kisses,

    Penny xx

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    1. Patti Smith wouldn't do that! Don't you worry, Penny. Everyone is safe.

      Delete
  17. Oooooh! This is a tricky one! I like your new digs here, by the way!

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  18. I like all these bands! It's been awhile, since I've heard Joan Jett. Certainly some great picks!

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  19. I shall go with Patti Smith because I like her clever way in redoing this song. This is one song by Nirvana that I like even if I could not understand anything he said. I didn't care for Joan Jett's version. She almost seemed "off" in her voice. It fell flat in a few places for me anyhoo.

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    1. No one can take Kurt Cobain's place. I think that's why Joan seemed off. Or maybe she didn't bother to rehearse.

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  20. Joan Jett gets my vote.
    I have to say with my loss of hearing in one ear, I listen to both trying to match up the words. I have to say they (are to me) are quite alike.
    Both did a great job.
    It is just a great song.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Joan told me to tell you that she says "hey" to thehamish.

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  21. Oh, I'm a Joan Jett fan all the way. The Patti Smith version was a good attempt at being different, but I think it needs the angst Joan was able to deliver.

    Like many above, I had a difficult time listening to this song without singing the Weird Al lyrics. I've been toying with the idea of using one of his songs against the original in an April 1st BOTB. I'm such a big fan, I've seen him in concert four or five times. This past Summer we saw him at Summerfest and got first row. As he came in for the concert (singing Tacky) he walked past our row and high fived a few of the people, my friend for one.

    Sorry, I seemed to skew into a Weird Al tangent.

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    1. It's okay. I like Weird Al. I'd let him see my boobs.

      Nah. He'd be disappointed. Nobody wants to look at old lady boobs.

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    2. I've also considered using Weird Al v. the original version of something. If you do it, and I do it, then will you be angry with me?

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    3. No I won't. But maybe we can co-ordinate it so we both do a battle like that at the same time. It would be another 'fun' battle for everyone.

      Delete
  22. Not a real fan of this song on any given day, but today I have a really bad headache ( not a normal occurance for me) and due to the fact that my kidneys don't want to work properly, I can take no pain meds...so, that meant about 15 seconds into Joan and Nirvana I was ready to toss the phone across the room. Patt's version was still this unfortunate (IMO) song, but it did not make me want to rip my ears off, therefore give her my vote. Sorry to be so negative today; I just don't fe well and should probably just go back go bed.

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    1. Something is wrong with my kidneys, too, according to my blood work. I won't go to my doctor because I can't stand him. I'll have a different insurance plan on 1/1/16. I'll choose a better doctor then and see what he says about my kidneys. Maybe my kidneys are eating the rest of me alive. Nom Nom Nom

      Delete
    2. "Sorry to be so negative today..."

      Oh, FAE, you weren't even remotely close to "negative".
      "If you could read my mind, Love, what a tale my thoughts could tell..."

      What (TF) has happened to what we started?

      ~ DeafnessDogG

      Delete
  23. Sorry, no brainer. Joan Jett with Nirvana just can't be beat, even if Patti had not slowed the beat down to a boring crawl.

    Hope all works for you health wise Janie.

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    1. Oh, I'm never in good health. I'm used to it. Big deal. Thank you anyway.

      Delete
  24. This is a tough one for me. I never particularly cared for the song and find my musical tastes have really changed in the past few years, so I have to cast my vote for Patti.

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  25. Logging a vote for Patti Smith on this one. Was it just me or was Joan Jett screaming? Like FAE, I'm still struggling with a "headache" aka migraine (in my case). So, it could be my head was sending it to me all wrong. But, it sounded like screaming.

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    1. I won't exactly call it screaming, but she's kind of gravelly and screechy at the same time.

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  26. This battle is tormenting me! I'm having a personal conflict on my decision. I am a HUGE Nirvana & Dave Grohl fan, and I LOVE Joan Jett.. and Patti Smith! All such great and wonderful musicians. I love Joan's raspy voice and I love that Patti made her version her own. Lord help me, but I can't help but wonder what it would sound like if it were Patti singing in Joan's place.

    Okay, okay.. I must make a choice. God help me.

    Grohl is a God, and Patti is the High Priestess.

    Christ on a cracker. I can't believe I'm going to say this. Okay, here goes...

    Joan Jett gave it a great rocker's vibe. But I honestly think that Patti brings out the true emotion that Kurt was trying to convey.

    Therefore, my vote goes to Patti Smith.

    Excellent battle!

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    1. I love your decision making process, especially the appeal to Christ on a cracker.

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  27. The strings...I'm so into this version by Patti Smith - where in the world did you find it? You outdid yourself, madam.

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    1. I looked at covers and figured Joan Jett with the remaining Nirvanaites was a necessary evil. I had trouble finding something I liked to be the second contender. About the 15th version I looked at was Patti Smith, and I shouted, Eureka! I have found you at last.

      Or maybe that was when I got lost going to the grocery store. Anypatti, I've been reading up on Patti and Wikipedia says Sam Shepard plays the banjo on her recording of Teen Spirit. I need to watch it for the millionth time because I didn't know about the Sam Shephard thing till yesterday. I don't know if he's in the video. Patti and Sam Shepard had quite an affair when they were young and living at the Hotel Chelsea. They've remained friends. I can't be friends with former lovers, not that I have any.

      Delete
    2. The young guy playing the banjo at the end can't be Sam Shepard. I can't see the face of the earlier shot of the banjo player.

      Delete
  28. Stephen T. McCarthy Wuz Here.

    [I feel confident that you would not want me to post my honest opinion here about Kurt Co-Bane and this song. I abstain from the voting.]

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Never Been Drunk Enuf'

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    1. I'll hold you to that statement about not posting your honest opinion.

      Delete
  29. Patti Smith gets my vote, was kind of surprised I thought I would go with Joan Jett and the guys from Nirvana.

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    1. Every time I'm online now, I have to listen to Patti Smith. I adore her.

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  30. This brings back memories of high school. I've probably heard the original a million times, and I still don't know the lyrics. But that's not really important. Patti Smith's version just sounds... wrong, I guess. Joan Jett captured that Teen Spirit and we both vote for her, coherency or not.

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Got your panties in a bunch? Dig 'em out, get comfortable, and let's chat.